Study identifies key area cycling, pedestrian corridors

While the primary focus of the South Montgomery County Mobility Study was to develop a roadway plan to accommodate future growth and address traffic concerns, planners also considered options for a bicycle and pedestrian network.

The study includes designs for a bicycle/pedestrian network that features connector routes that could correspond with roadway construction and utilize existing and future utility corridors.

"This is more of a framework than anything else," said Thomas Gray, chief transportation planner for Houston-Galveston Area Council transportation.

H-GAC planner Carlene Mullins said the goal of the bicycle/pedestrian base network was to identify major corridors for north-south and east-west travel. Those corridors include routes along Lake Woodlands Drive, Gosling Road, Hanna Road and Rayford Road.

Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack said the plan was a "great framework," but said the county would not put forth money to build bike paths.

"This gives entities who have an interest in building bike paths an idea of what it may cost and [the ability] to determine if this is right for them," he said.

Noack said the county would use future or existing money to build roads.

Any entity would need to pay for bike paths on their own, rather than by using county money, Noack said.

The Woodlands Township has budgeted $100,000 to develop a master plan for bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure. Representatives from The Woodlands Bike Coalition pushed for a cycling component to be included in the study.

"There are several people [at] the county that are not interested in the bike/pedestrian plan," said George Mendes, member of The Woodlands Bike Coalition. "The [Woodlands] Township has been much more progressive in it, and we hope to take some of these inputs from the south county study and delve into more detail."